Murderer asks for shorter sentence

June 01, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Convicted murderer Timothy Cumberland has filed a motion for a shorter sentence, calling his 40-year prison term "inappropriate, unseemly, unjust and unfair."

Cumberland, 24, of Reisterstown was sentenced to life in prison with all but 40 years suspended for the murder of Gregory Lamont Howard, who was shot in the chest at close range on South Center Street on Jan. 28, 1993, after a soured drug deal.

Cumberland filed the shorter sentence motion Friday in Carroll Circuit Court. His is the longest term imposed on any of the three men convicted in the case.

In his motion, Cumberland said his sentence should be reduced because he was not as responsible for Mr. Howard's death as his two co-defendants were. Cumberland was convicted of first-degree murder by a Carroll jury in February and sentenced by Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. in April.

Co-defendants Samuel Allen Miller, who fired the fatal shot, and Daniel Justin Leonard, who owned the murder weapon, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in September. Miller was sentenced to 30 years and Leonard was sentenced to 10 years.

"In light of [Cumberland's] undisputed lesser degree of involvement and culpability in this matter . . . it is inappropriate, unseemly, unjust and unfair, as well as wholly unsustainable on constitutional grounds, for its disproportionate nature," Cumberland's lawyer, Michael D. Montemarano, wrote in the motion.

Besides a lighter sentence, Cumberland is seeking to serve his sentence at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup.

At sentencing, Judge Beck denied Cumberland's request to be transferred to Patuxent, an institution that offers more opportunities for education and rehabilitation.

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